The OnePlus Nord Buds 2 deliver a lot of audio features for not a lot of money, and it looks like a new version is imminent. Well-known leaker Onleaks says the Nord Buds 3 release is imminent, and CAD renders such as the one above show that they'll have a noticeably different design.
The rather large stems of the current buds are much smaller and considerably less box-like in the third generation – they look more like the brand's premium offering, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 – and that should mean they're more comfortable too.
We don't have an official list of the specs yet but the Nord Buds 2 have Dolby Atmos, which is pretty impressive for buds that you can currently buy for less than forty pounds here in the UK. The last generation model also has unusually large 14.2mm drivers for suitably punchy sound. The fact that they're on sale – the UK price is usually £69 – strongly suggests that the new buds' launch is imminent.
What's new in the Nord Buds 3?
In addition to the thinner, less boxy stems, there's a redesigned charging case too –and as you can see it too is less boxy than the current version. The case is also splash proof, boasting a IPX4 rating.
According to MySmartPrice, the key specifications of the Nord Buds 3 include a 10.4mm woofer and 6mm tweeter, the same 48dB ANC as in the current version and IP55 rating for water and dust resistance. The buds will have Bluetooth 5.3 with Google Fast Pair and dual connection. Battery life is expected to be the same as with the current version, which is 9 hours with ANC off and up to 33 hours when you recharge from the case; battery life drops to about 6 hours / 22 hours with the case when ANC is switched on. The leak says that the Nord Buds 3 will also have fast charging, with about 10 minutes of charging delivering 5 hours of listening.
There's no indication of a price or launch date as yet but we'd expect the RRP to be similar to the outgoing Nord Buds 2, which launched at $59 / £69, or the original Nord Buds, which launched at $39 / £49. That's a good price for Dolby Atmos earbuds and if the third generation offers audio improvements as well as design ones they could be up there with some of the best budget buds you can buy.
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Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.